Curbed Chicago: How Much Homebuyers Are Willing to Pay for Convenient Access to Public Transportation

A new study shows that homebuyers are willing to pay more to live closer to bus and train stations.

Convenient access to public transportation is increasingly important for young renters and buyers, especially in the city of Chicago. The city is experiencing a transit oriented development boom that’s causing new properties to be built based on their proximity to public transit. But is that access impacting home prices?

Redfin looked at the sale prices of more than one million homes sold between January 2014 and April 2016 in an effort to identify how much public transit moves the needle when it comes to buying a home. They created a “Transit Score” that’s a ranking from one to 100 designed to measure the usefulness and convenience of public transportation, from busses and subways to a ferry or water taxi. The study found that in the Chicago metro area, one additional point of Transit Score increased the value of a home by 0.79 percent, which translates to an average of $1,731 per point based on the median home prices.

“Transit is an important building block to economic mobility,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson in an interview with Curbed Chicago. “The more that cities invest in good transit the bigger financial impact for homeowners and the better access families of all incomes have to jobs and public amenities. Transit is an economic win-win for communities.”

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